Firefly Watching in Puerto Princesa City

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Fire flying at night…or sort of 🙂 . These bugs are known as lightning  bugs or Fireflies. These little fly wonders can be enjoyed by anyone when you go firefly watching in Puerto Princesa City. Many tourist seem to enjoy this tour because there are so many good reports about their trip to the Iwahig River where you find these fireflies.

Firefly Watching in Puerto Princesa     Firefly Watching in Puerto Princesa

Firefly Watching in Puerto PrincesaWhat are fireflies?

Do you know that Fireflies are actually beetles and not flies? Yes, they are actually Beetles with wings — and of course they possess an impressive tail light! Fireflies are members of Lampyridae or a beetle family under the order of Coleoptera. 
The ones you see at Iwahig River are identified as Pteroptyx. The male Fireflies measure about 6mm. Females are flightless but they still emit light like their guy counterpart.

Why do they omit light?Firefly Watching In Puerto Princesa

When they light up it makes the whole area look magical! It turns out that they do this as a way to attract their would be mates. Their lights come when luceferin (a chemical in their tummy or tail) combines with oxygen, calcium, and adenosine triphosphate. Don’t ask … don’t really know what they are either other than the oxygen and calcium 🙁

Firefly Watching in Puerto PrincesaIt turns out that they flash their light to send messages to each other, usually flirt messages. Males emit patterns of light to let the potential lady know that yes he is the one for her. In turn, the ladies reply to the males through those light flashes that they are interested in mating. Then I guess you know what’s next….

Decrease in Population

 Sad fact is that the Fireflies are declining in numbers over the years. They attribute this problem to pollution, bug killers, pesticides and habitat destruction.
Those who study these bugs say that if their environment gets paved, for example, they don’t just move to another safer place. When that happens, they just disappear … forever 🙁

Firefly Watching in Puerto Princesa CityFirefly Attraction In Puerto Princesa City

For those of you who would love to see them in action while you are on a holiday, you can do the following:

  • Book your Firefly watching tour through a tour agency.                         Depending on the agency, tour normally cost Php 1100.00.  This includes air-con van transfer to and from the location, boat fees, licensed tour guide and dinner. Others charge Php 1200.00 with a buffet dinner onsite.Firefly Watching in Puerto Princesa CitySome tour agencies offer a head-off to Iwahig river by boat from the Puerto Princesa City Baywalk and back. So be sure to check with your agent for your preferences.
  • Or, you can also do it youself (DIY).        It is important that you book before you arrive at the location to avoid long waiting. You can hire a tricycle from the city proper on to Iwahig for Php 800. If you did not book in advance, you will be led to the waiting area at the location and wait for the pre-booked visitors to finish their round. This may take anything from 30 mins and up … Boat can accommodate 3 passengers at a time and it costs Php 600.00 to hire it yourself. 

There you go, we hope we have given you another idea what you can do in Palawan. If you go and visit Iwahig we hope you  enjoy your visit at the Firefly Watching in Puerto Princesa City. Have fun and Mabuhay!

Location: Iwahig River, Barangay Iwahig, Puerto Princesa City
Opening hours: Starts at 7pm until the booked tours are finished
Travel time: 45 mins- 1 hour by land, 30-45 mins by boat
Boat fee: (for DIY) Php 600.00 for a boat for 3 people
Fare: (for DIY) Php 800.00 on a Tricycle from the City proper and back inclusive of permit fee

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